Seattle Area Software Quality Assurance Group

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Past Meetings 2003

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Ten Things Every Software Tester Must Know;
European Efforts in Tester Certification

November 2003
This talk will focus on the ten things every software tester should know to be recognized as well educated and trained in software testing fundamentals. The talk focuses on 10 (there are more) important areas of knowledge every tester should know if he is going to market his skills across a diverse software industry from shrinkwrap to safety critical software. The talk will also focus on the embryonic efforts between ASQ Software Division and their European counterpart organization ASQF, based in Berlin Germany. ASQF has an initiative underway to certify software testers to a defined Body of Knowledge. ASQ SD is looking at their program for possible creation of a standalone Certified Software Tester program in the United States. The ASQF program is a NOT-FOR-PROFIT program that is endorsed and sponsored by the European Union Initiative for Software Process Improvement and Training. The program will be of interest to all software testers, auditors of testing, and software quality engineers.

by Michael Kress
Associate Technical Fellow, The Boeing Co.

Mr. Kress is an Associate Technical Fellow for the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group in Seattle.  He is a Senior Member of ASQ and currently is the chair of ASQ�s Software Division.  He is a Boeing Enterprise software process improvement facilitator and inter-divisional focal for software quality standards.   He works with suppliers of aviation software to promote reliable processes for software development and maintenance.   He is the author of �D1-9001, Advanced Quality System for Software Development and Maintenance�, a supplier initiative dealing with an adaptation of the SEI-CMM for Boeing suppliers.  Mr. Kress holds a BSEE, and CQE, CSQE certifications and is a Registered Professional Engineer.  He has over 30 years experience in military and commercial avionics systems. He has served on numerous industry advisory and regulatory groups including AIA, AEA, RTCA, FAA SSAC, ARINC and ISO.  He is a member of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO/IEC SC7 TC176 and is the chair of AAQG Project 19, Deliverable Software Quality System Requirements.


Defining a Quality Plan
October 2003
As quality professionals we are often asked to come up with the "Quality Plan". What is often meant by this is, "How are we going to do testing?"
Learn what a Quality Plan should be and why it is critical for efficient and effective software development. The talk will focus on creating and organizing quality goals, becoming realistic about defects, and the options we have for defect detection and prevention. From this, the audience will get a new appreciation for what a true Quality Plan can do for a software development effort and some concrete ideas of how to make it happen.
Slides in Acrobat format (259KB)

by Earl Beede

Mr. Beede works as a Senior Process Architect and the Director of Seminar Content at Construx Software. Earl has been in the IT industry for over 15 years as a quality assurance representative, systems analyst, process architect, and manager. He is a member of the Computer Society of the IEEE. Earl has a 1987 Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington in Communication Theory and Philosophy. Through additional college instruction, he was certified to act as a quality representative for the Department of Defense in the areas of Mechanical, Electrical, and Computer Software. He is a Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) from the IEEE.


What do you expect?  It's a Beta Version.
September 2003
Do you want to make the most out of your commercial beta test programs?  Learn about the customer's perspective in beta testing and how to leverage customer experience into improved product satisfaction.  Learn how to maximize your beta programs and improve customer relationships through the use of formal and informal beta programs.
PowerPoint Slides (248KB)

by Hal Bryan

Mr. Bryan works as a software test lead.  He's been testing software for more than six years in a shrink-wrap, software production environment.  He's known for transforming Beta programs into valuable partnerships with long-standing customers.  In addition, Hal wrote the Beta Best Practices document that will be shared as part of the presentation.

Security Assurance: The Part You Play
August 2003
Information Security has become a critical national, business and personal concern. 
What part do QA professionals play in assuring that our companies remain secure?

This presentation:
1) Identifies historical trends and recent law that confirm the need to change our perception of security as an area of testing
2) Frames the security testing problem
3) Explores the difference between quality testing and security testing
4) Identifies the organizational gaps that lead to weak security in organizations
5) Demonstrates upcoming changes to a key IEEE lifecycle standard that will affect QA 
6) Identifies opportunities where QA can be a change agent toward a more proactive view of security

The presentation will show that in order to meet compelling new business risks, we need to change our approach to security analysis and testing. We will explore cultural perception issues surrounding Information Security, and the constraints faced by motivated QA professionals. There will also be an introduction to information assurance terminology and concepts that will help determine appropriate security testing coverage on projects. Finally, strategies for encouraging the adoption of a comprehensive security assurance model will be presented.
Acrobat Slides (50KB)
Word Handout (64KB)

by Bar Biszick, CSQA and CISSP

Ms. Biszick is an independent consultant, specializing in IT Security Assurance. She has worked as a Tester, Test Lead, Trainer and Quality Improvement Analyst in the software development, insurance, telecommunications and healthcare industries. She has been a featured speaker at QAI conferences and at Microsoft and has been published in STQE magazine. Bar currently serves as Chief Architect and Lead for the Information Security Assurance team of the IEEE revision workgroup updating P1074 Standard for Developing Software Life Cycle Processes. She recently completed the design of a four track curriculum that informs Business and IT Managers, Project Managers, Developers and Testers, and Operations and Support Personnel of their roles and responsibilities to assuring security in their Enterprise.

Good Enough Software: Can we ship yet?
July 2003
Some QA professionals mistakenly think that �Good Enough� software development principles are irresponsible. They say it�s a method that lowers quality because it�s an excuse to ship mediocre products. But this perception is due to a simple misunderstanding of what �Good Enough� means. Jonathan Bach, senior test lead for Quardev Laboratories in Seattle, explains that �Good Enough� does not mean �substandard� or �mediocre�, but is actually an optimal and responsible economic principle we all use. Since quality is expensive, the �Good Enough� framework provides a criteria to help stakeholders make proper decisions about whether or not it�s time to ship. Bach will explain the four elements of this simple paradigm and how testers and test managers can help project stakeholders know if they are shipping with too little quality or are unnecessarily striving for too much quality.
PowerPoint Slides (596KB)

by Jon Bach

Mr. Bach works as a senior test lead for Quardev Laboratories in Seattle.  He has worked in software testing for eight years, including several years at Microsoft.  Jon is also a published writer.  You may have heard of his brother James.


Internationalization (I18N) Sufficiency Testing
June 2003
In the globalization process, the more effort you put into the I18N phase, the less on-going effort is needed in subsequent localization phases. If a product will be localized into more than one language, I18N sufficiency testing is a key component to keeping the schedule and budget on target. It can help you find potentially show-stopping problems before they are replicated into various languages. This discussion will give participants an overview of how to perform I18N sufficiency testing, including:
1. The pre-testing check�reviewing the developmental specs to determine whether they accounted for international considerations
2. Setting up the proper testing environment
3. Creating your testing checklist
4. How to complete the testing
5. Pseudo-localization testing
PowerPoint Slides (221KB)

by David Ginsburg

Mr. Ginsburg is a software testing veteran, having been in the testing industry for over 16 years. He started his career as a Test Engineer for a defense-related firm from 1987 through 1992 during which he implemented hands-on testing of computer-based trainers/simulators for the 4 branches of the military. David successfully managed the testing department at Micro Prose, an entertainment software company, from 1992-1996 and went on to be the Co-founder of Absolute Quality where he was the VP of sales from 1996-1997. As his success grew, he continued to follow the business development path where he held the role of Director of Business Development for ST Labs/Data Dimensions/VeriTest from 1998-2002. David joined The Symbio Group in 2002 as a Director of Business Development and is currently based out of Rockville, Maryland. David graduated from the University of Maryland and his personal interests include sports and spending time with his children.


Technology Transfer:
The Human Side of Changing Technology
May 2003
As technology changes around us, and as we change the technology ourselves, we tend to focus on that technology by itself and often ignore the human perspective of technological change. Unfortunately, ignoring the human perspective can be the single greatest barrier to successful implementation of technological change. This presentation addresses the human perspective of technological change and helps answer the following questions:
* How can we help our customers adopt the technological innovations embodied in our products?
* How can we help our peers adopt the technological innovations in the tools and processes that we use in building our products?
* How can we improve our own ability to adopt new technological innovations?
PDF Slides (112KB)

by Steve Tockey
Principle Consultant, Construx Software

Mr. Tockey is an expert in software engineering practices including object-oriented development, distributed object computing, software project management, and software quality. He worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Boeing, and Rockwell Collins before joining Construx. He also serves on the adjunct faculty of Seattle University's Software Engineering master's degree program.


Good Enough Software:
The Roadblock to Quality
April 2003
Good enough software has created development environments that fixate on software testing to identify quality issues and churn the code until it is "good enough" to satisfy customers. This quality control approach causes testing groups to become the the bottleneck in the development cycle, and also requires heavy investment in sustaining engineering and post release maintenance efforts. By driving quality upstream it is possible to not only reduce the number of bugs introduced during the implementation phase of software development and improve overall quality and customer satisfaction, but also redefines the role of software test engineers.
PowerPoint slides (146KB)

by William (BJ) Rollison
Test Training Manager, Microsoft Corp.

Mr. Rollison has worked at Microsoft for 9 years. He started in '94 as the setup test lead on International versions of Windows 95, then became a test manager for the Internet client division before moving into Microsoft's internal training department about 3 years ago. Prior to Microsoft he worked for an OEM company in Japan building and testing Japanese computer and network solutions. He has published several articles on DOS memory management and Windows optimization in Japan and Canada, and is currently working on a book about International Software Testing.


Managing Complex Testing Environments
March 2003
Dealing with complex incremental testing on complex IS projects which include not only code, but also data conversion and business processes can't be successfully done by simply managing and tracking test results. Tools and techniques that enable process management is one way to manage complexity. John will take a look at how system testing can be managed using objective tools and techniques. The tools can be of benefit to even small, simple testing activities to help identify and manage risk.
PowerPoint slides (376KB)


by John Butler
Integrated Process & System Validation Manager, Boeing Commercial Airplanes

John Butler started work at Boeing in 1989, as an Industrial Engineer in the Everett Wire Shop. His responsibilities included shop load and supporting the transfer of commercial work to other Boeing sites. In the years following, John has specialized in process engineering and has supported the implementation of a large-scale business process re-engineering plan, dealing with the design, planning, manufacturing and quality. His first assignment was to integrate an extensive IS manufacturing application system to parts plants. John led the team of subject matter experts at Proof of Concept in 1996. After the first parts plants were implemented, he led two follow on activities called CPLs (Center for Process Learning).

In 1998, John was assigned to manage activities supporting the implementation of engineering business processes. In 2000, John moved to his current position in the Information Systems Organization to assume the additional responsibilities of the Integrated Unit Test, Integrated Functional Test manager along with validating the Cross Functional Business Processes. John�s outside interests include golf and skiing.

Extreme Metrics Analysis for Fun and Profit
February 2003
Software metrics have long held promise as the operational measures of the software industry. One major reason for embarking on the collection of software metrics is the desire to improve business decisions. Statistical thinking can enable accurate predictions and fact-based decisions. The presentation proposes a distinction between analysis and reporting, and the impact this has on organizational support and training requirements. We have implemented analysis techniques (coining the term "extreme analysis") to bridge the gap between the analyst and business stakeholders. An overview of selected statistical techniques and the appropriate selection of types of studies will be given. Taken together, these are invaluable for process improvement and technology transfer.

Paper (50kb) and PowerPoint slides (2.14MB)

by Paul Below, CSQA, CFPS

Mr. Below has been a metrics analyst and mentor since 1985, providing the practitioner view to create the EDS Metrics Program. He created the first Metrics and Estimating Center in EDS that combined analysis of operational measures with algorithm-based estimating and forecasting. Paul is an instructor and curriculum developer for Metrics Analysis and Function Point Analysis. He is a CSQA and IFPUG CFPS. He has presented papers at the ASM and IFPUG conferences. He taught the graduate level Software Metrics course at Seattle University for two years.


Advanced Modeling, Model Based Test Generation, and Abstract State Machine Language (AsmL)
January 2003
This talk will give a brief overview of the concept of modeling, to put Model Based Test Generation into context.  Model generation based on Finite State Machines and Abstract State Machine Language will be discussed.  A brief overview of AsmL and some results from using it will be presented.
PowerPoint slides (1.28MB)

by Keith Stobie, CSQE

Mr. Stobie plans, designs, and reviews software architecture and tests for Microsoft.  His current project involves XML messaging and web services using SOAP and GXA.  He is also active in the Web Services Interoperability Organization's ( Test Working Group creating test tools for Basic Profile analysis and conformance.  Keith directed and instructed in QA and test process and strategy at BEA Systems where he worked on BEA WebLogic Collaborate and WebLogic Enterprise.  He worked as a Test Architect and Manager of Quality and Process at Informix on the Extended Parallel Server product.  With over 20 years in the field, Keith is a leader in testing methodology, tools technology, and quality process.  He is a qualified instructor for Systematic Software Testing and software inspections.  Keith is active in the Software Task Grup of ASQ, participant in IEEE 2003 and 2003.2 standards on test methods, has published several articles, and has presented at many quality and testing conferences.

Email questions about SASQAG or this web site to webmaster at

Email questions about SASQAG or this web site to: webmaster at

Mailing Address:
Seattle Area Software Quality Assurance Group (SASQAG)
14201 SE Petrovitsky Rd
Suite A3-223
Renton, WA 98058